"I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt.
All the families on the earth will be blessed through you."
One of the most remarkable privileges God has blessed me with on Facebook is linking me with dear friends! For the past three years, God has given me wonderful friendships with Iranians. I have had the privilege to be their voice on my blog and share stories of their struggles for freedom. We have laughed together, cried together and even prayed together. My friendships with Iranians are the most precious friendships to me in the world.
However recently, the violent conflict between Hamas and Israel has put a real strain on our friendships. Even though my Iranian friends despise and hate their government, the many years of propaganda by the Regime has left a lasting impression on their thinking. They see Israel as an aggressive entity and view them as the enemy of the Middle East. Therefore when they see that I'm standing with Israel on my Facebook page, they are outraged and want to know why I am siding with a nation that commits terrorist acts!
With gentleness and respect, I pointed out to my Iranian friends that Hamas is using the Palestinians as human shields and that Israel is not purposely targeting innocent civilians. Yet in all of my persuasion, my Iranian friends still don't understand that the media is manipulating the violence in the Gaza Strip and using it to deceive the world. However, in the midst of my frustration and despair, God once again has blessed me with a wonderful friendship that is making a difference in my difficult situation!
To this day, I still can't remember exactly how I met Shaily, but I am so grateful that I did.
I saw her name linked to a comment on a post and I noticed she was from Jerusalem, so I decided to friend request her. Within a few days Shaily responded to my friend request and immediately cautioned me by saying, " I am Israeli IDF," meaning she was a member of Israeli Defense Forces."
"That's not a problem, " I enthusiastically replied, "I am a big supporter of Israel!"
Without hesitation she accepted my friend request.
Shaily Azulay is my first Jewish friend on Facebook and her friendship came at a crucial time.
When you come to Shaily's page, you are immediately educated. She has postings and videos responding to the cruel and hateful anti-semitism that is alive in the world!
Her timeline picture is a postcard drawing of missiles and homes with the caption declaring that, "Israel uses weapons to protect its civilians, Hamas uses civilians to protect its weapons!"
Further down the page is a video Shaily produced showing the hateful and violent threats made by Hamas and how Israel is fighting courageously to protect their homeland!
As I scrolled further down her page, I arrived at a video posting that touched my heart!
It was a video produced two years ago featuring young Jewish citizens from all walks of life, holding up posters colored in green and red, declaring, "Iranians, we will never bomb your country, We love you."
The short two minute video pleads with Iranians and reassures them that, "We don't hate you, We love you, we want to meet you someday..."
I watched this video with tears in my eyes and I realized what a "God send," Shaily was! Here was a video from the hearts of the Jewish people saying to Iranians, "We love you."
WOW! A message of peace and love, rather than hatred and hostility. A message that could heal the deep wounds and scars and break down the many barriers created from years of propaganda.
Shaily has created a beautiful Facebook page, a page that both educates and reassures Iranians that Israel does not hate them! With all of the misinformation and anti-semitism created by the media, Shaily has responded with a message of peace that shows the true heart of the Jewish people. Israel is a beautiful and historical nation that is fighting for its survival against hostile terrorists. They are the last hope for freedom and democracy in the middle east!
I immediately knew that I had to share this beautiful video with my Iranian friends. Like me, Shaily has a heart for the Iranian people. She has a heart for peace and understanding and in a climate of hatred, she responds with a message of love.
I have posted her video on my page with the sincere prayer that my Iranian friends will see the true heart of the Jewish people.
I also have had the privilege of sharing the books that I wrote about the Holocaust with Shaily, "The Promise and Beauty from the ashes,"
Please join me in standing with Israel at this critical time in her history. God has promised to bless those who stand with her, but also warns against those who show contempt for His chosen people.
"I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt!"